Monday, August 22: We check out of Höfn Guesthouse early this morning, as they don’t serve breakfast. We gobble down a banana and some yogurt and then we’re on our way to Vik, with numerous stops planned along the way.
Of course, we must make a few random roadside stops to take pictures of interesting scenes, like this pretty red-roofed farmhouse.
We make a quick stop at Brunnhólskirkja, a charming church that caught my eye yesterday as we zoomed along the Ring Road back to Höfn.
We find a memorial at the Hjallanes loop, a 7km hiking route which goes from a working farm in Skálafell towards Skálafellsjökull glacier and back to Skálafell. Hjallanes is within the boundaries of Vatnajökull National Park, a remarkable area due to both glaciology and plants. Although we’d love to do this hike, we have so many other things to squeeze in today that we bypass this one.
We stop to have a look at Skálafell, the working farm located between the town Höfn and the Glacier Lagoon where the Hjallanes loop begins.
As of 9:15 a.m. this morning, we have driven 2,025 km during our entire Iceland trip, and we still have some distance to go.
We make a brief stop at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, the same place we visited yesterday. We had to backtrack to Höfn Sunday, where we spent a second night, and so had to drive right past Jökulsárlón again. It is a grayer day than yesterday, so we don’t take any more photos; we mainly stop to use the facilities and to grab a snack of mushroom soup, bread, and a chocolate-covered doughnut with sprinkles. 🙂
Not far past Jökulsárlón, we find a small sign off the Ring Road indicating Fjallsárlón. This lesser-visited trail gives access to two glacial lagoons with a tiny river flowing between them. Here icebergs calve from Fjallsjökull, part of the bigger glacier Vatnajökull.
It’s a dark and cloudy day and this lagoon is not heavily touristed, so the place feels a little desolate and eerie.
By the time we’ve walked around Fjallsárlón, we’ve walked 4,705 steps, and our day is just beginning!
We continue our drive towards Vik, with a few dramatic scenes along the way.
Before the road goes inland, we get our first view of the immense sandar, the flat and empty area sprawling along Iceland’s southeastern coast. This is the outwash plain of the glacier; silt, sand and gravel are scooped up from the mountains by the glacier, carried by glacial rivers or glacial bursts down to the coast, where they’re dumped in huge desert-like plains of gray-black sands and rocks (Lonely Planet Iceland).
We continue inland to the storybook church at Hof.